Little Book of Confusables

Adverse vs averse: simple tips to remember the difference

ADVERSE vs AVERSE – simple tips to remember the difference

ADVERSE and AVERSE are easy to confuse. They may sound similar but they have different meanings… and I have a simple tip to remember the difference between them.

ADVERSE means harmful or unfavourable. It’s often used with the word ‘effects’ – particularly by newsreaders and journalists – like this: “the local area is feeling the adverse effects of the decision to close the factory,” or, “Adverse weather conditions over the weekend caused havoc in the town.”

The best way to remember the spelling of adverse is to think of the D in adverse and D for damage.

AVERSE means having a strong dislike for something. It’s often followed by the word ‘to’: for example, “I’m averse to bad weather” or used in a phrase like ‘risk-averse’.

ADVERSE and AVERSE are both fairly formal, slightly stuffy-sounding words, so you may be better off rewording your sentence altogether to avoid them.

Confusables adverse vs averse. Language and spelling tips from copywriter Sarah Townsend Editorial

Confusables: adverse vs averse. Language and spelling tips from UK copywriter Sarah Townsend Editorial


Coming soon: The Little Book of Confusables

Wouldn’t you love a handy guide to those tricksy spellings that trip you up and make you look bad? Words like PRACTICE and PRACTISE, AFFECT and EFFECT, or IMPLY and INFER.

The Little Book of Confusables shares simple, memorable spelling tips and examples for more than 500 of the words you find most confusing. Supercharge your vocabulary and avoid embarrassing mistakes! Sign up to my monthly newsletter for updates.